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Recognising 'green' initiatives for NHS Sustainability Day

NHS Sustainability Day last week championed the efforts of NHS Trusts across the UK to reduce their environmental impact at an innovative virtual awards ceremony during which 12 Awards were presented. HEFMA sponsored the Public Engagement and Travel Awards.


A variety of schemes were recognised in these awards, including better waste management, procurement, carbon reduction, energy efficiency and recycling/reuse. 


Public Engagement Award

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust won this category for its work on climate change. In June 2019, it was the first NHS Trust to publicly declare a Climate Emergency. This sent a clear message that the Trust recognises and gives weight to the threat that climate breakdown poses to public health.  


The Trust has also pledged to become carbon neutral by 2040 and is working collaboratively with civic partners in Newcastle to agree individual and collective actions to deliver on this goal.


Climate emergency, carbon reduction and energy efficiency have been embedded in the Trust strategy for 2019-24.


Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust was highly commended for its Live & Work NHS Apprenticeship Programme, a partnership between the Trust, Sandwell &amp and West Midlands youth homelessness charity, St Basils. The programme provides apprenticeship opportunities and living accommodation within the hospital for young people (aged 16-22).


Also shortlisted in this category was University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust for its climate action programme. This was developed to inform the local community about climate change, its risks to health and the actions that everyone can take to reduce carbon emissions. It featured events in the Trust’s hospitals and information sharing through newly-developed social media accounts. 


Travel Award

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust won this category for its work to develop an infrastructure of electric vehicle (EV) charging points and extend its fleet of electric vehicles. 


In 2015 the Trust led the way across the NHS, becoming the first to replace 13 diesel vans with electric. It installed charging points and is actively promoting the use of electric cars for staff. The uptake has already been very positive and the Trust is expecting this to increase further from the beginning of April to the new 0% tax benefit for EV cars.


The Trust Board approved a business case to install a further 24 charging points by the end of this month, bringing the total number of charging points to 79. The initiative is helping to reduce carbon and is contributing to the clean air project.


Also shortlisted in this category were The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, both of which have developed action plans to encourage staff to walk or cycle for their commute to work.


Carbon saving ceremony

Holding the ceremony online saved the equivalent of 1,862 Kg of CO2 by removing the need for travel, food and building/venue energy.


We will cover these achievements in more detail in the coming weeks/months, either online or in Pulse magazine.